The top men's tennis squad in the nation continued to roll through its competition Saturday, defeating unranked Wofford, Liberty and Longwood in a tripleheader, each by a score of 7-0.
Virginia (14-1, 2-0 ACC) came out strong in doubles, winning all its doubles points against the three teams. Apart from Longwood's victory in the No. 2 slot in Virginia's final match of the day, the Cavaliers' only competitive opponent was Liberty's tandem of Louis Steyn and Benjamin Worth. Sophomore Santiago Villegas and freshman Dino Dell'Orto needed a tiebreaker to put out the Flames, eventually winning 7-6(4).
"We didn't know much about these teams," Virginia coach Brian Boland said. "So what I always try to do is start with a doubles lineup that I feel comfortable with and go from there."\nThe Cavaliers continued their dominance in singles, grabbing each match of the day in straight sets.
A 21-0 combined score aside, Boland above all was pleased with the success of the team's underclassmen, including Villegas, freshmen Brian Fang and Julen Urigen, as well as sophomores Steven Eelkman Rooda and Phillipe Oudshoorn, who saw increased playing time.
"We have a lot of depth on the team," Boland said. "Today was a really positive step for us in terms of having guys to get out there and be in a competitive situation."
But the young players were not the only ones who assumed new roles this weekend. With No. 5 junior Michael Shabaz cheering from the sideline, senior Houston Barrick, sophomore Drew Courtney and senior Lee Singer all played at the No. 1 singles position during the day. No. 6 junior Sanam Singh and No. 19 freshman Jarmere Jenkins - Virginia's top two players behind Shabaz - also sat out to give their teammates more playing time.
"It was a lot," Singer said of the three-match day. "But it was good ... getting a lot of matches for the other guys was very helpful."
Boland, too, was impressed with his team's ability to maintain intensity throughout the long day.
"It's hard to be here this long and play this many matches," Boland said, "but I think the guys did an excellent job."
The No. 1 Cavaliers will look to extend their 11-match win streak Friday in a doubleheader against Old Dominion and Georgetown at the Snyder Tennis Center.